Need a little extra help waking up naturally? Experts say sunrise alarms can be super effective. These handy devices gradually increase the level of light in your bedroom, thus waking you in a far gentler (and more pleasant) way than a traditional blaring alarm. "We have been hard-wired to have our physiology and behavior planned around light-dark cycles," Dr. Brager explained. "When the sun sets, our bodies and brain prepare for sleep. When the sun rises, our bodies and brain want to be awake. Technology that mimics this primes the system instead of shocking it."
Using this alarm may also help you in achieving a more regular sleep schedule. "When you're exposed to natural light, it signals to your brain to turn off melatonin production and activates certain neurotransmitters and hormones to get you going for the day," Dr. Patel told POPSUGAR. The Philips Wake-Up Light ($100), for example, emulates the dawn by emitting a soft, red-tinted light that gradually transitions into a bright white light as time goes on. You can personalize the experience by choosing from 20 different brightness settings and five natural wake-up sounds, like chirping birds or waves crashing, to help gently pull you out of your slumber.
If you don't feel like investing in an alternative alarm, experts suggest getting some exposure to natural light as soon as you wake up. "You can't change the biology, but you can use a lot of external queues in terms of syncing sleep time," Dr. Siebern said. "This would include getting morning light exposure and also doing very alerting activities first thing in the morning to really help rev up the system, such as going for a morning walk or working out."
Keep in mind that, according to Dr. Kansagra, the brighter the light in the morning, the more effective it is in resetting your circadian rhythm.